Saturday, November 07, 2009

Miles Davis - Nefertiti

Whoever posted this song to Youtube used the wrong album cover - that's 1958's Round About Midnight.  Ah, well.  Nefertiti is one of the great albums by Miles' Second Great Quintet, featuring Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams.  I love all six studio albums they made as a unit, and it's some of the finest 1960s jazz ever recorded.

For frustrated jazz fans who felt betrayed by Miles' evolution into electric music, fusion and funk, the Second Great Quintet holds a special appeal.  But I think on this period in Miles Davis career, we can all agree.  This is a brilliant song on a spectacular album.  I'm very glad I was able to find a "360" press on vinyl.  The sound is tremendous, full and deep and very melodic.  This digital version on Youtube is great, but just cannot compete with the original analog.

1 comment:

Chris said...

There are artists who successfully stick to a certain formula for their entire careers. We can always identify a work by these kinds of people. For them, sticking to an artistic ideal is a strength and each new work adds to the others to create a large, consistent body of work. (I think someone like Woody Allen is a great example of this.)

Then there are other artists who will follow a certain path for a while filling that path with ideas like air into a balloon. They force so much air into the balloon and they do it so damn quickly that inevitably the balloon has to pop. And when it is about to pop, they completely stop that line of creativity leaving the balloon taught and rigid. They disappear for a time and then return with something so different from what was before that it is unrecognizable. I could list a few examples of this, but, without a doubt, Mile Davis is one of the best examples. If you play Birth of Cool next to Porgy and Bess next to Kind of Blue next to In a Silent Way next to Bitches Brew (and on and on and on), you'll discover so many different styles and forms and themes that it's not the balloon popping, but it is your mind (and, I should say, very much your heart).

(Of course the one consistent thing is that wonderful - absolutely wonderful - full sound that Miles Davis produced out of his trumpet. It is something sensual, something like the richest food, like a musical impasto on a canvas of air. God! I love that sound!)